Dutch municipalities can do much more to fight climate change, says Green party

Dutch municipalities can do much more to reduce the emission of green house gases in the Netherlands, according to a study by GroenLinks' scientific office. Party leader Jesse Klaver is therefore focusing on the 'green campaign' in the run up to the municipal elections, because he believes municipalities can make a big difference in the fight against climate change, NOS reports. 

The municipalities have influence on more than a third of the country's total emissions, and not all municipalities are doing everything they can to reduce emissions, GroenLinks concludes.

According to the party, municipalities can play a major role in stimulating the purchase of solar panels by offering attractive loans, or by installing them themselves at schools or public buildings. They also have the power to enforce that new construction is natural gas free, and can force companies and institutions to take energy-saving measures. Municipalities can also use their influence to reduce car use by making parking less attractive, stimulating the use of bicycles and public transit, and by setting up environmental zones.

GroenLinks also calls on municipalities to do more about the separate collection of waste. The study found major differences between the municipalities on this front. In one municipality 95 percent of household waste is collected separately, in another it is less than 15 percent.